On Monday evening, a bevy of stars put on a surprise show in Times Square to mark World AIDS Day and support RED. After “a minute and a half of serious stuff” from President Bill Clinton, U2 kicked off the concert with Coldplay’s Chris Martin filling in for a banged up Bono. Martin did his best to hit those big notes in “Beautiful Day” before slowing things down for “With or Without You”. Say what you will about Bono, but the man has some inimitable pipes. (Well, unless you’re Jimmy Fallon.)
Martin sent his love to Bono and thanked the band before exiting the stage. After a clip summarizing the work of RED, The Edge hung around to join Carrie Underwood in a performance of her song “Change”.
After Underwood and Kanye West’s respective sets, U2 came back in full and started in on “Where the Streets Have No Name”, playing through the familiar intro before Bruce Springsteen walked on to take the mic. Garbed in a leather jacket and red necklace, The Boss was a solid fill-in for Bono, putting as much of that legendary energy into the performance as he would a song of his own. He dedicated “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” to the absent singer, giving the final refrain over to the NYC crowd in epic fashion.
Replay the full performance below. U2’s sets take place at the 7:00 and 38:30 marks.
To help support RED’s effort to fight AIDs, you can donate now at red.org/Thankyou, and Bank of America will match your donation.